Editor’s Note: This biography was provided by the candidate’s office.
Diane Harkey, Candidate for the 49th Congressional District in California, was elected in November 2014 to the State Board of Equalization where she represents the voters of the 49th Congressional District as well as residents of 5 Southern California counties including Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and a section of San Bernardino.
Harkey recently served three terms in the California State Assembly representing the 73rd District encompassing nearly half of the residents of the 49th Congressional District.
As Chairwoman of the State Board of Equalization, Diane capitalizes on her private and public-sector experience to promote the rights and interests of all taxpayers.
As a Constitutional officer, Harkey advocates for policies that support job creation, employment opportunities, improve California’s state budget outlook, and reduce the burden of complying with government audits and various tax regulations.
Harkey also served as Chair of the Business Taxes Committee, the regulatory body at the BOE charged with writing, updating and streamlining regulations that implement California’s business tax statutes.
In her first year at the Board, Harkey successfully pushed for changes to provide clarity on 1031 exchanges in real estate transactions, and soon began to establish clear guidelines for sales tax exemptions for medical devices and inventories. She held numerous seminars to help tax professionals, business owners and individuals navigate California’s complex tax laws and regulations. Her office has favorably resolved over 400 constituent cases district-wide, and continues to hold educational events explaining property tax assessment, the importance of Proposition 13, manufacturing exemptions and a variety of topics regarding state tax law.
Harkey strongly supports policies that ensure future improvements in water, power and transportation and public safety that will allow California to retain its place as one of the top-ranking economies in the world.
Harkey graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Economics from the University of California, Irvine and enjoyed a successful 30-year career in corporate finance and banking. Working in good and bad economic climates with individuals, small business owners, and leaders of publicly-traded companies helped form the pragmatic business perspective that she brings to the Board and will carry over to Congress.
Harkey won her election to the Board of Equalization with over 61% of the vote and is proud to represent 9.5 million constituents in the counties of Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, and the southernmost portion of San Bernardino County.